NBA 2K21 Demo Release Date Announced, New Features Revealed

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Hoop heads, you’ll be able to test NBA 2K21 very soon! 2K has announced that the NBA 2K21 demo release date is on August 24 for current-gen platforms! In addition to that, a bunch of new features and improvements have been detail as well.

Here’s a quick, at-a-glance look at the new features and improvements Visual Concepts is bringing to NBA 2K21:

  • Pro Stick shooting upgrade
  • 40 new jump shot landings
  • Overhauled dribble moves
  • 50 new size-ups
  • No more Quick Draw badge
  • 6’8 PGs in MyCareer

Over on the game’s official site, NBA 2K Gameplay Director Mike Wang went over the new features and improvements in depth. We’ve summarized some of them but highly recommend that fans check out the full dev explanation for a better understanding of where the studio is going with the changes.

Pro Stick changes:

  • Hold RS down = jump shot
  • Hold RS left or right = escape dribble moves
  • Hold RS up = signature size-ups
  • Tap the RS = quick 1-to-1 dribble moves
  • Tap the RS with Sprint held = quick momentum dribble moves

New signature moves like Kevin Durant’s hesi crossover and more have been added. Nate Robinson was brought in to do motion-capture work as well.

Altogether, you can choose from a list of 14 Park and 36 unique NBA Size-ups. And when you factor in all the 1-to-1 size-up packages and new customizable escape dribbles, there’s really no limit to the types of combos you can pull off in NBA 2K21.

Shooting changes:

For NBA 2K21, when you shoot with the Pro Stick, the shot meter changes from a timing bar to a targeting system. So instead of trying to stop the shot meter when you reach the perfect release window, you adjust the Pro Stick in real time to hit the ideal center aim point. The target window resizes dynamically based on player ability, shooting range, and how well the shot is contested and can also shift to the left or right based on the shot’s degree of difficulty. If you miss the target too far to the left or right, your shot will miss in that direction. And as I mentioned above with the new slider sets, even the slightest degree might be the difference between a make and an airball on Hall of Fame, while it’s quite a bit more forgiving on the easier difficulties. You also won’t be penalized for using the entire shooting motion to find the sweet spot. In other words, you don’t have to time your release when you’re shooting with the Pro Stick. But if you want to take it to the next level and know your release, you can lock in your timing and aim by either centering the Pro Stick or by tapping one of the triggers when you reach the apex of the shot. The lock in will be indicated by a brief flash on the shot meter. If you can time AND aim well, you will give yourself the best chances at making the shot.

There’s new shot types added too like James Harden’s 1-foot running fadeaway. Park players, there are over 40 new Park Jump Shot Landings included in NBA 2K21.

Motion Styles added to defensive end:

Visual Concepts has added signature defensive motion styles from some of the best defenders in the league! Here’s the list of players you can model your player’s movement after: Russell Westbrook, Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Pat Beverley, Andre Iguodala, and Draymond Green! There have been added refinements to movement both with and wothout the ball as well.

Badges changes:

Seemed like everybody was a big fan of how we redesigned the badge system last year with the ability to swap badges in and out as you upgrade. That’s returning for NBA 2K21. Throughout the life of NBA 2K20, we collected telemetry data that gave us a detailed breakdown of what badges people were equipping for certain build types, and which ones weren’t being used as much. This was very useful in helping us redesign and tune the badges for NBA 2K21. I think you’ll find that more badges will have merit and fight for a spot in your badge loadout, giving you more effective tools to take over games in a more varied fashion. And here’s some good news that I know the community will appreciate. We removed Quick Draw and put release speed back into the Jump Shot Creator. So that’s one thing you won’t have to waste your precious badge points on.

No word yet on whether the next-gen versions will be getting a demo as well. For info about Virtual Currency and how it’ll work in terms of cross-progression, head on over here.

NBA 2K21 will shoot its way out this September 4 on PS4, Xbox Series X, Switch and PC. Next-gen versions are incoming as well, though with no definite release dates yet.